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Worried about schizophrenia



New member
Sep 2, 2009
First of all, I feel I need to apologise as I'm sure a lot of people develop schizophrenia as a result of personal traumas they could not have avoided, whereas my situation is purely self-inflicted.

For about 3 years I've been using drugs recreationally, particularly things like MDMA when I go to nightclubs and raves.

I've had no problems at all up until last month, where I went to a festival and had a psychotic episode lasting about 5 hours (- note that it carried on long after the drugs had worn off). Completely out of the blue, I started to think I was being followed, and it reached the stage where I was fully hallucinating in a way I have not done so before. I could see thousands of people at the festival turning towards me and shouting things as I walked, and by the end of the night I was lying in my tent listening to people talk about me around the campsite, shouting references to my personal life that they could not possibly have known about. Thankfully I had two friends with me who eventually managed to persuade me that it wasn't actually happening, and like the flick of a switch I was out of it.

Last weekend I went to another festival, and a very similar thing happened. I started to get a bit paranoid about how aggressive and suspicious everyone looked as the festival drew to a close, but I managed to get through it. We went back to our tent and chilled there for a few hours, and there was a loud, really annoying guy camping nearby who was shouting abuse at people in nearby tents. This is what set me off again. Before long, I started to think he was shouting things about me, and by the time I emerged from the tent to put all our stuff back in the car, I was surrounded by people pointing and jeering at me. Knowing what had happened a month previous, I just ignored it and said nothing, looked to the floor knowing that it was probably all in my head. As soon as we left the festival I clicked back out of it and was fine.

Is this sort of delusion common? What does it mean?
If I stop taking these substances can I expect not to experience anything like this again - or have I triggered a type of psychosis now which may surface whenever I am faced with a particularly stressful situation?

I've tried reading about this sorta thing online, but everywhere I look schizophrenic episodes are generally defined as being things that last for at least a good few days, maybe even months, and these were just brief but extremely traumatic hallucinations lasting a few hours. I could pass this off as simply 'tripping out' on a drug, but circumstances have left me feeling more concerned. Firstly, they have tended to happen after the drugs have worn off rather than while they were active; secondly, we're talking two consecutive events and instances of substance use; and thirdly, the type of delusion I've got (feelings of reference, voices, delusions of persecution) seem to tick so many of schizophrenia's boxes.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated, thanks for reading.


Hello & welcome to the site -

I don't want to sound blunt or harsh - Stop taking drugs!

It really is that simple. Hard to do, but worth it.

I took a lot of drugs & alcohol for 17 years. I went through a lot of mental illness through that time too. Eventually I decided to stop the drugs completely & to separate out as much as I could what was going on. I thought that I would be mentally well; when I stopped drugs. That hasn't happened. I am close to 8 years on a recovery path, despite a small slip some 2 years ago - apart from that I have taken no substances nor drink at all - I am T-Total. Life is very much better than it was.

Personally in my case - Although drugs have played a part in things; they are not the whole story. Whatever the schizophrenia is that I am diagnosed with - it is not solely the result of drugs. Drugs exasperated things, I don't think that they caused them.

Drug induced psychosis is common, & usually short lived, & I don't think that it's the same as schizophrenia. In the medical literature - there is no evidence that dugs cause schizophrenia.

I know a lot of people that have taken drugs & still do - they may have all kinds of problems, & sometimes have been prone to drug induced psychosis - but they are not schizophrenic. In the people that are schizophrenic - there appears to be something else going on in addition to the drugs.

This is not to say that there are no horrors that people experience with drugs. Most people don't stop taking drugs - & most people with drug problems diagnosed with schizophrenia; don't stop taking drugs either. In relation to drugs, & especially cannabis - people often try to convince themselves that the drugs are good for them - & blame their drug related problems on other things.

The only way that you can sort this out & know for sure; is to stop taking drugs & stay off them. Good luck.

Last edited:


Well-known member
Founding Member
Dec 19, 2007
^^^^^ what he said. I've hammered recreationals. I was 18 in 1988, so figure it out. Schizophrenia is a bit of a mad one, the more you investigate it, the more it tends to disappear to be replaced by other things, all of which are said to exist under the umbrella descriptor of schizophrenia. To be honest whatever schizophrenia is, it does seem to be activated by mind altering drugs, but seldom caused by it...

To be honest if you're having altered states of consciousness don't worry about it unless it becomes disruptive, involves ideas of harm to yourself or others. Beyond that 'it's just a trip man' and will probably be an enlightening experience. Don't allow yourself to feel alienated or isolated because you're experiencing something no body around you seems to understand (unless they're pilled up when it all makes perfect sense to them ;) ). Come here and chat with us loonies!!!



Jun 7, 2009
hi p

dear p i have had very similar experiences of festivals i went to glastonbury in 2000 and took the following drugs vodka speed pills mushrooms i was a paranoid wreck i also when i got back to the tent thought that people were talking about me laughing at me etc i hated it. drugs stay in your system for longer than you imagine my cpn said once that amphetamine can stay in your system for 6 months you sound like you have a sensitivity to these drugs. ive had good expeeriences with festivals before that but i dont go any more i do have scitzophrenia but yours may simply be the effects of the drugs you are taking. i would advise you to go to a gp STAY AWAY FROM ALL DRUGS including cannabis go to your gp and tell them what you have been experiencing. its great that you have supportive friends too guide you but dont take the drugs. and it doesnt matter if it is self induced scitzophrenia or any other kind of scitzophrenia we are all suffering the same thing here. i wish you all the best and there are people who can help you if you need it diddy
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